The 28 March 2014 marks 50 years since DJs on board a boat moored off the coast at Felixstowe gave listeners something they’d been waiting for.
Back then it was the Easter weekend and Ronan O’Rahilly with his team of DJs took to the airwaves with Radio Caroline.
In the months that followed, many more pirate stations were appearing on ships and also coastal forts just outside British waters and out of the reach of British law.
Radio Caroline South was based three and a half miles off the coast of Frinton and former DJ Tom Edwards recalls just how dangerous it could be getting to the ship, the Mi Amigo.
One of those fans was Paul Graham. He caught the Viking Saga from Clacton beach out to the Mi Amigo when he was 15. He went on to become a DJ for the station twenty years later.
When the Marine & Broadcasting (Offences) Act was introduced in August 1967, Radio Caroline became a smaller operation with supplies coming from Holland.
Many DJs didn’t return out of fear of losing their passport or going to prison.
Radio Caroline continued with DJs broadcasting from its final ship the Ross Revenge until it ran aground off the Goodwin Sands in 1991.
The wreckage was salvaged and is currently being restored at Tilbury docks in Essex.
Radio Caroline can currently be heard over the internet with DJs broadcasting from a studio in Strood near Rochester.